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Who Is Responsible For Sewer Line Repair In Cumbria?

If you live in Cumbria, you may have many questions about who is responsible for sewer line repair. Some of the most common questions include:

  • If the sewage system outside my house breaks down, is it my responsibility to fix it or the public authority's?
  • If my neighbors and I share a common sewer line, who is responsible for its upkeep?
  • Who should take care of the maintenance and repair of lateral drains?

At Drainage Cumbria, we are Cumbria's leading sewer repairs company. We offer effective solutions to all your sewer repair problems. In this article, we will take you through what you need to know about sewer line repairs in Cumbria.

What Are Sewers, Drains, and Lateral Drains?

Before we proceed, it's important to understand what sewers, drains, and lateral drains are. These systems are part of the wastewater infrastructure in Cumbria and are critical to ensuring that waste and other materials are safely and efficiently transported away from homes and businesses.

A sewer system is a network of pipes and structures designed to transport foul and surface water from domestic, commercial, and industrial areas to treatment facilities. On the other hand, a drain is a pipe that carries sewage or rainwater from a single source or building.

A lateral drain refers to the part of a drain that runs downstream of the property boundary and connects to a sewer. Typically, lateral drains serve several properties or buildings.

Who Is Responsible for Sewer Line Repairs In Cumbria?

Responsibility for sewer line repairs depends on various factors, such as the type of sewer, the location of the repair, and the ownership of the property. Here are some of the situations that could arise:

Public Main Sewer Line

The public main sewer line is owned and maintained by the relevant water authority. Typically, this sewer runs beneath public roads or land and carries waste from multiple properties.

If a problem occurs with the public main sewer line, it is the responsibility of the local water authority to repair it. This means that you do not have to worry about who will pay for the repairs or make any arrangement. You just need to inform the water authority of the issue, and they will send their experts to fix it.

Shared Sewer Lines

If you share a sewer line with your neighbors, the responsibility for repair will depend on the ownership of the pipe. For instance, if the shared sewer line lies on your property, you are solely responsible for the repairs. However, if it lies on common land, the responsibility will be shared among all the owners.

In most cases, shared sewer lines are classed as 'private sewers'. In such cases, each person who is part of the shared sewer system is responsible for a portion of the repair cost based on the percentage of the system they are connected to.

Lateral Drains Connected to the Main Sewer Line

As a property owner, you are responsible for the repair and maintenance of lateral drains that connect your property to the public sewer. This means that you are required to carry out all necessary repairs, including the final connection, as well as any necessary clearance or cleaning.

Lateral drains are typically private property and can be used by multiple properties or houses. As such, all owners whose properties are connected to the lateral drain network are collectively responsible for their maintenance and repairs.

Lateral Drains Lying Outside the Property Boundary

For lateral drains that lie outside your property boundary, it's the responsibility of the local water authority to repair them if needed. However, if the lateral drain has been damaged as a result of work carried out by the property owner or contractor, then the burden of repairing it will fall on the owner of the property.


It's essential to know who is responsible for sewer line repairs in Cumbria in case you run into any issues. At Drainage Cumbria, we have a team of experts that can help you diagnose your problem and find the best solution.

Remember, if the problem lies with the public main sewer, contact the local water authority, and they will handle the repairs on their own. If the problem is with the pipe connected to your house or a shared sewer line, it is likely to be your responsibility. You may want to engage us to fix it for you.

If you have any questions about sewer line repairs, contact Drainage Cumbria today on 01228 734162 or email us at [email protected]. We will be happy to assist you with any drainage repair or maintenance you may need.

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